How to Start an Indoor Herb Garden

Fresh herbs are a great addition to any meal you prepare. I love adding fresh basil to pasta sauce and mint sprigs to a cold glass of tea. Now that Spring has arrived, it's finally warming up and its the perfect time to try your green thumb at planting. Growing up, I watched my father plant his garden every year and learned a lot of tips and tricks. Follow my easy guide to set up your own herb garden and stop spending on expensive store bought herbs.

Pick Your Location
How to Start an Indoor Herb Garden
Plants like places that are warm and have a lot of access to sunlight. I have my herb garden in my kitchen by the brightest window. If the temperatures are still fluctuating where you live, I would recommend moving it away from the window at night time to prevent it from getting too cold. As you approach summer, you will want to move it out of the direct sunlight during the hottest times of the day. Having your garden in the kitchen means that when the herbs are ready for use, you can clip them and add them right to your dish.

Pick Your Planter
You can either choose to plant from seeds or to plant starter plants you purchase at a home improvement store or nursery. If you are looking for a faster start that is easier on patience and if your skills are not great with growing, the starter plants are a good option. I tend to like raising my herbs from seeds, but I think starter plants are equally as rewarding as a gardener. Either option you choose, you will need a planter to put them in. Terracotta pots are usually very inexpensive and you can plant several herbs in one pot. Make sure it has a drainage hole in the bottom or side to allow extra water to flow out. You can also buy a rectangular planter box if you are planning to grow a lot of herbs. Buy a plate or tray to place under the planters to collect the extra water.

Pick Your Soil
The easiest type of soil to plant your herb garden with is one that has extra nutrients already added to the soil. Potting soil is premixed and you don't have to worry about the contents having too much or too little nutrients for your herbs to grow. You can also buy ones with a growing booster, like Miracle Grow, to help them grow faster. I personally do not use any growing boosters, and prefer an organic potting mix for my herbs.

Start Planting
Once your planters are in place, you'll need to add enough potting mix to the container or containers the plants will go in. If you're using a starter plant, you need to make a layer of potting mix in the bottom of the container and gently set the plant, without its container, in the mix and fill around it. Leave a little space at the top for when you water the plants. If you are using seeds, plant the seeds down three inches in the soil and cover with soil, leaving room at the top. Water the plants a little until the soil is just moist. Don't water them too often, but make sure the soil is never dry.

If you start from seeds, they will soon sprout. At that point you will need to be very careful with their sunlight and water. It can require a little extra work than using a starter plant, but I have never had any issues with seed plants not thriving. If you're using starter plants, wait until they have new growth before adding them to any dishes you prepare. Within a few weeks, you will be enjoying your own fresh herbs and getting the satisfaction of becoming a gardener. More indoor gardening ideas